Influence of Zinc and Molybdenum Contents in Soil and Drinking Water for the Development of Esophageal Cancer: A Cross Continental Study

S. S. Ray, D. Das, T. Ghosh, S. S. Ray, A. K. Ghosh


There are several endemic areas (hot spot) of esophageal cancer (EC) around the world and the geochemical structure of that area has a vital role for the endemicity. Different elements in soil are lixiviated in water which is the major source of different elements needed for the living system. Thus, the elemental status of soil and drinking water of a particular area influences the elemental status ofliving system. In human system, the deficiencies of Zn and Mo have got an important role for the development of esophageal cancer. So, Zn and Mo contents of soil and drinking water of an endemic area of esophageal cancer may be related to the development of deficiencies of these elements in human system.

In the present investigation, a comparative evaluation of Zn and Mo contents in soil and drinking water of a hot spot and a cold spot of EC was carried out. The samples of soil and drinking water (underground water) were taken from Eastern Cape, South Africa (RSA) (a hot spot) and West Bengal, India (INDIA) (a cold spot). The soil and drinking water were analyzed for Zn and Mo contents using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). The results showed that both soil and drinking water of Eastern Cape, South Africa was significantly deficient in Zn and Mo contents as compared to West Bengal, India. Apart from other environmental risk factors the deficiencies of Zn and Mo in both soil and drinking water of Eastern Cape, South Africa are the major contributors for the development of an endemic area of esophageal cancer.


Esophageal Cancer; Trace elements; Zinc; Molybdenum; Soil; Water; Eastern Cape; South Africa; West Bengal; India.

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